Unfinished RDP houses in Khayelitsha

No ceilings, toilet doors or gutters

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Photo of woman pointing to broken ceiling
Nomakhazi Silayi is waiting for her ceiling to be completed. Photo: Vincent Lali

More than 100 RDP houses in Khayelitsha have not been finished since 2012 and residents are living without ceilings, toilet doors or gutters.

Nomakhazi Silayi, 60, said she has no money to buy building materials for her house in Town Two. “I’m waiting for government to finish building the house because I’m too old to raise money to do so myself,” she said.

Silayi said she and her family moved into the house in 2015. Strong winds easily blow tiles off her roof, she says, and the windows have no handles. There is no door on the toilet.

Bulelani Mgcuwe, 43, said his house had been built without window panes in 2012. Windows were put in a year later but the frames had been damaged. After thugs stole doors from the house he moved in to protect it, though it was not complete.

Alfred Kwaaiman, a builder and chairperson of Siyifumene People’s Housing Project, said he had been building houses in Town Two since 2012. The company which supplied some of the materials including ceilings, fascia boards and gutters had gone out of business, affecting about 136 houses, he said.

He said the residents had moved into the houses from their shacks before the houses were finished. “Because their shacks allowed cold and rain in, the residents resorted to moving into the unfinished houses without the permission of the City of Cape Town,” he said.

Felicity Purchase, Acting Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, said the residents were beneficiaries of a People’s Housing Process (PHP) project. “PHP projects are community-driven projects whereby the beneficiaries are responsible for appointing the support organisation who will build their houses with the help of a building contractor. In this specific matter, the contractors went into liquidation and left a number of units incomplete.”

“The City, together with the Western Cape Government, has started a process to help these beneficiaries and to complete all these outstanding units.”

“The Western Cape Government is finalising the funding process for some of the units after which construction will be completed.”

This article has been corrected with information from the City of Cape Town.

TOPICS:  Housing

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